Jump directly to the content

Q&A: Housing Allowance for Cell Phone Bills

Can a pastor's housing allowance be applied to cell phone bills?

Can our pastor use his housing allowance to pay for his cell phone bills?

Unfortunately, the tax code and regulations do not answer this question, and it has never been addressed by either the IRS or any court. So, a definitive answer is not possible.

In a 1955 ruling, the IRS concluded that telephone expenses are a utility expense to which a housing allowance can be applied. Letter Ruling 5509169250A. While this ruling was a private letter ruling that cannot be cited as precedent in other cases, it remains the only instance in which the IRS has addressed the application of housing allowance to telephone expenses.

This ruling makes sense. Section 107 of the tax code provides that the portion of a minister's church compensation that is designated as a housing allowance is not included in computing taxable income (for income tax reporting) to the extent that it is used to pay for housing-related ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • January 1, 2010

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Find comprehensive help understanding United States tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers
Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.
20 Finance Questions Churches Ask
20 Finance Questions Churches Ask
Richard Hammar answers relevant tax and finance questions for church leaders.
Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards
Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards
Church board members should have a basic understanding of these financial issues.